As of yesterday, passengers departing from San Francisco international airport can purchase carbon offset credits before taking their flight. The credits are called “Climate Passport”, and they can be bought from electronic kiosks located throughout the airport.
Each ton of carbon offsets costs $13.50, and a typical transcontinental flight spits out about 1.9 tons. Offsetting that will cost you just under $25. Of course, that number is for the total amount per flight, so if more than one passenger on a flight pays for the offsets, the flight will theoretically be carbon negative.
The money gets split – $12.00 goes towards the Garcia River Forest project, and $1.50 goes to the city of San Francisco to support local carbon reduction projects.
The kiosks cost $190,000 to install, and to me that seems like a heck of a lot of money for something that is going to be a pretty hard sell. On paper the project looks great – it allows passengers to help the environment without having to give up much more than a little of their cash, but in reality I really don’t see many passengers participating – though I’d like to be proven wrong.
You can learn more about the program, and how the collected money is spent, at the Climate Passport web site.